PHOTOS: Crowds Pack Eastern State Penitentiary for Bastille Day

On Saturday Fairmount celebrated the 20th Annual Bastille Day at Eastern State Penitentiary. The event commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on the 14 July 1789. The Bearded Ladies Cabaret Company performed an artistic interpretation of the story, with founder John Jarboe playing French cabaret great Edith Piaf. Terry McNally, co-owner of the nearby London Grill reprised her role as Marie Antoinette, telling the citizens from the roof of the “Bastille,” “Let them eat Tastykake!”

This year I wanted to do something a little different and photograph the event from the performance stage as well as from behind the scenes, which my partner Mike Toub photographed. Check out our shots below to find out why Marie Antoinette’s head was spared at this year’s celebration.




Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • The Benefactor

    Too crowded for me. Would be a chic event if less crowded.

  • Michelle

    It was so fun! I didn’t stop smiling and laughing the whole time!